Interview: Old Spice’s Isaiah Mustafa


We all love the hilarious Old Spice commercials that feature the charming and funny Isaiah Mustafa winning the hearts of all that watch. Whether he swan diving or facing off against Old Spice “OG” Terry Crews, we all can’t help but to watch. So when Old Spice gave me the opportunity to sit down with the man of the hour how could I resist?

Camille: When Old Spice called and said you’re going to be in a shower, then in a boat and on a beach and  by the way you’re on a horse; what did you think?

Isaiah: I wasn’t concerned with any of that, I was just thinking that I wanted to make some money!

C: Shooting these ridiculous scenarios, is that hard?

I: To a degree, yeah. But you don’t think about how hard it’s going to be, you just go through it and that takes the pressure off everything. Then afterwards you look at it and say, “Wow I did that”.

C: Is that what helped you find that iconic voice, or was it something that came naturally?

I: The tone was an amalgamation of different characters that I liked over the years, from TV and film.

C: Do you use that voice in real life?

I: It is my voice but I don’t sound like that all the time, but certain times my voice resembles that tone or I use it jokingly. For the most part I rarely use that tone because it’s known with the commercial.

C: Were you surprised by how successful the commercials got and how they became their own thing?

I: I’m still blown away by it. I’m very thankful, happy and super appreciative of  the whole Old Spice phenomenon.

C: In the new commercials you get to work with Terry Crews, how is that like?

I: It’s great! It’s a long time coming. It makes my job a little easier to play with Terry because now I have someone to play off of.

C: Now in these new commercials you guys are talking about “Smellmitment”, what is that?

I: Making a “Smellmitment” is kind like making a commitment. To make a smellmitment means, choose a side. Terry has Bear Claw, I have Swagger and Timber. So men out there need to choose a side.

C: What if a brave man puts on both? Do they become the ultimate man?

I: Anyone that is five feet around them is definitely going to think they’re the ultimate man. But both scents are kind of like morning, noon and night. Takes you throughout the day.

C: Can you describe what a Swagger and Timber man would be?

I: A Timber man is someone who cuts through all the bull of bad odor, and chops right through that. Swagger man speaks for its self, he has swaaagggg!

C: Would they like video games? And what game would they play?

I: I think if you’re a real man you love video games. But any video game that has to do with, well that’s not like candy crush is a good one!

C: What would their superhero idol be?

I: Timber’s idol would be anyone wielding an axe and chopping down trees. Swagger’s is the smoothest superhero out there.

C: Would they be NHL men?

I: The Old Spice man would be a hockey player, you know a man who gets hit in the face and doesn’t even flinch. So we kind of think NHL players are like hockey players. So yes they’re NHL men.

C: What are you most excited for this NHL season?

I: I’m looking forward to the All Star game, they have a new format where they are going 3 on 3. So I’m looking forward to how that will play out.

C: You’ve been working on other projects too, what are they?

I: I’ve been shooting a series called Shadow Hunters, it airs this January. It’s a fantasy genre show about vampires, werewolves and warlocks.

C: And you shot that in Toronto?

I: Yeah we shot in the summer.

C: What is your favourite thing about Toronto?

I: I think my favourite thing is how the city comes together for a winning sports team. When the Blue Jays were doing their thing, everybody had Blue Jays stuff. It was really cool to see because in LA you don’t see that.

C: I’m guessing the least favourite thing is the cold weather?

I: Well, I think we all know what the least favourite thing is the traffic. I would say LA and Toronto have the same amounts of traffic, but Toronto has amazing public transit. Where LA lacks Toronto makes up for.

C: My friends give me the hardest time because, I try to whistle the Old Spice jingle. I just want to show them it’s not as easy to do on a whim as they think it is. Can you whistle the jingle?

I: I can’t even do it.

It was a pleasure speaking to Isaiah and ending the interview on a very embarrassing note. After attempting to whistle the Old Spice jingle, I failed horribly. And Isaiah wasn’t going to let that pass, instead he pointed out very clearly that I was “way off”; but you can’t get mad since sadly he was completely right. But he reassured me that I wasn’t the only one that has whistling woes and can’t whistle the iconic jingle. So, now I can finally sleep at night knowing that I’m not alone!